Not as big a thing as I anticipated.
For many, it did not go as expected.
They would see someone start bodily off,
Smile in preparation, roll
To their toes, jut out
Their arms – and nothing. If
They had closed their eyes
They would open them one
At a time, looking about
To see who was still abandoned
On Earth. From the looks of it,
The final selections were a bit thin,
There is going to be a fearful horde
Of us left to face what is next. No
Airliners pilotless falling from crowded skies,
Few cars suddenly driverless spinning
Pinball-like on shocked highways. Mothers
Checking perambulators not sure whether
Finding the baby or not is best.
People running outdoors thinking God
Might need a straight shot, standing
A few awkward moments, sullenly
Dragging themselves back in. Cell phones
Still working, I call the wife
To see how it looks where she waits.
It rings and rings and rings, and I start
To leave a message, then pause.
Ken Poyner’s collections of brief fictions, Constant Animals, Avenging Cartography, Revenge of the House Hurlers, and Engaging Cattle; and collections of poetry, The Book of Robot and Victims of a Failed Civics, can be located at Amazon, most online booksellers, and www.barkingmoosepress.com. He spent 33 years in information system management, is married to a world-record-holding female powerlifter, and has a family of several cats and betta fish. Individual works have appeared in Café Irreal, Analog, Danse Macabre, The Cincinnati Review, and several hundred other places. He has had seven Pushcart nominations without fielding a single win.
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